Ajay and Atul Gupta speak to the City Press from the New Age Newspaper's offices in Midrand. (Muntu Vilakazi, Gallo Images, City Press, file)
Johannesburg - e-Commerce website takealot.com on Friday lashed out at comments allegedly made by ANC MP Vytjie Mentor that the controversial Gupta family has a stake in the business, calling it "fake news".
The company, partly owned by Fin24’s parent company, Naspers, dismissed the claim in a tweet, saying that the Guptas did not own a stake in the business.
“A #fakenews story has just come to our attention. We would like to confirm that Naspers and Tiger Global are the majority shareholders of http://Takealot.com. The Guptas do not own any shares in our business,” the tweet read.
Earlier on Friday, a post on Mentor's Facebook page read: “It's reported that the Gupta's own/have a stake in TAKE-A-LOT. So next time you buy from them, know that you are supporting the Gupta Empire.”
In 2014, E-commerce brand kalahari.com was folded into takealot.com after a merger deal was given the go-ahead, following investments from both Tiger Global and Naspers in 2015.
Black Friday 2017 saw numerous large e-commerce websites crash amid scores of deal-seekers trawling sales, while takealot failed to restore full functionality to its services.
Shortly after 15:30 on Friday afternoon, takealot tweeted one of several apologies to customers.
“Thanks for your patience today everyone. We know it's been frustrating at times & we're really sorry for that. The deal price of all of today's remaining in-stock Daily Deals will be honoured for the rest of the Blue Dot Sale, giving you as many chances to shop as possible,” the tweet read.
Despite the intermittent site access issues, R4m worth of transactions were processed in the first hour of the sale and R10m by 02:00. The entire 2015 Black Friday revenue value was exceeded by 06:00.
The Foschini Group stable of e-commerce websites which include @Home, Markham and Sportscene also saw intermittent downtime on Friday morning, but services were restored fully by midday.